Quantum cosmology implies corrections to the classical equations of motion, which may lead to significant departures from the classical trajectory, especially at high curvature near the big-bang singularity. Corrections could in principle be significant even in certain low-curvature regimes, provided that they add up during long cosmic evolution. The analysis of such terms is therefore an important problem to make sure that the theory shows acceptable semiclassical behavior. This paper presents a general search for terms of this type as corrections in effective equations for a k = 0 isotropic quantum cosmological model with a free, massless scalar field. Specifically, the question of whether such models can show a collapse by quantum effects is studied, and it turns out that factor-ordering choices in the Hamiltonian constraint are especially relevant in this regard. A systematic analysis of factor-ordering ambiguities in effective equations is therefore developed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)